"Gotta Get Back in Time": Ohio’s Prison Population Falls to 2013 Levels

Daniel J. Dew Nov 21, 2017

The Ohio Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations just released information that Ohio’s prison population has fallen below 50,000 down to 49,860.

That’s good news and hasn’t happened since 2013, when…

The Office was wrapping up its final season.

Jay Leno was still the host of The Tonight Show.

Everyone was making Harlem Shake videos.

And Urban Meyer was coming off his first season at The Ohio State where he led the Buckeyes to an undefeated season.  

Ok, so March 2013 wasn’t a super long time ago, but Ohio has not only stopped the increase in its prison population, but is now heading in the right direction.

Ohio policymakers have made a concerted effort to safely reduce the prison population and those efforts are being rewarded. Policies such as 2011’s Justice Reinvestment Act and this year’s Targeted Community Alternatives to Prison (T-CAP) which rehabilitate low-level offenders outside of prison have proven to be effective.

Ohio’s prison system costs taxpayers $1.8 billion every year. By reexamining criminal justice issues, policymakers are ensuring that those dollars are spent wisely. Good policy ensures that dangerous criminals are off the streets, while those who have made mistakes and can be safely rehabilitated in the community are placed on the path to become responsible citizens. 

Ohio is building on its past victories by continuing on the path to a safer, more efficient, criminal justice system through the Criminal Justice Recodification Committee, probation and post-release control reform, and the upcoming work of the Justice Reinvestment 2.0 Ad Hoc Committee.

Daniel J. Dew is a legal fellow at The Buckeye Institute’s Legal Center and an expert in criminal justice reform.